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The subfamily Phyllaphidinae has 15 species in 4 genera (Diphyllaphis, Machilaphis, Phyllaphis, Stegophylla). Both apterae and alatae are usually heavily waxed.
Phyllaphis fagi colony on beech leaf.
They mainly feed on oaks and beeches (Fagaceae), but Machilaphis are found on laurels (Lauraceae).
Phyllaphis fagi alatae.
They have a Holarctic distribution, but the range of 2 species (Machilaphis machili, Stegophylla mugnozae) extends further south.
Adult Phyllaphidinae viviparae may be apterous or alate, (but alates are un-recorded in some species). The eye of the apterous morph is made up of one ventral and one dorsal group of facets, without a triommatidium. Antennal segment II is often longer than the first, and the terminal process is much shorter than the base of the last antennal segment. The base of the rostrum has wishbone-shaped sclerification sometimes present, but mostly weakly developed.
Phyllaphis fagi aptera with immatures.
There are extended fields of wax gland pore elements on the dorsal sclerites and on legs and antennae. Dorsal body setae are sparse, fine and pointed, usually only one pair each of pleural, spinal and marginal setae present from tergite I-V (VI).
Phyllaphis fagi aptera. Drawing from CSIRO, public domain.
The empodial setae are hair-like, fan-shaped or absent. The first tarsal segments are without dorsal setae. The suture between femur and trochanter is often lacking in the apterous morph (also in apterae of Aiceoninae & Tamaliinae). The siphunculi are pore-like and located on tergite VI. In the apterous morph the cauda is rounded, and the anal plate is rounded or weakly indented, rarely bilobed.
In the alate morph the ocular tubercle is weakly developed or absent, and the epicranial suture is absent. Wing venation is normal, with the media sometimes only once-branched (Stegophylla, Diphyllaphis). The oviparae are apterous, males are apterous and/or alate (some within the same species). Oviparae mostly have perforated subsiphuncular wax gland plates and pseudo-sensoria on the hind, or rarely all tibiae. In the alate morph the cauda is sometimes knobbed.
Genus Phyllaphis [Phyllaphini]
Medium sized (usually 2.0-3.2 mm in length) elongate oval, pale yellowish green aphids, covered with wax wool. Wax is produced from well-developed dorsal wax glands. Antennae are shorter than the body and have a very short antennal PT . The siphunculi are pore-like. Winged forms have the abdomen wax-covered, with variably-developed dark dorsal cross-bars.
A genus of 2 or 3 species on the leaves of beech (Fagus: Fagaceae). They have a sexual stage in the life cycle, but do not host alternate and are not attended by ants.